I primarily grow my chilis to dry and grind for later usage, as well as tossing a fresh one here and there onto a burger or tacos. Hot sauces aren’t something that have I particularly ventured into making, but I decided to take a crack at it this season. A plethora of red and orange habaneros during one harvest last month provided me the opportunity to dive into the hot sauce realm. Besides, if I screwed up and lost the pods, it wouldn’t be a total loss as it would have been in seasons past.

A bit of research online and the personal tastes of the wife — she isn’t into super crazy hot peppers — steered me in to what turned out to be the right direction. The below recipe is crazy simple, which I prefer, and is easily adaptable to other pepper variants, which I also provide below with my second attempt.

Ingredients

  • 6-7 habanero peppers (coarsely chopped)
  • 2 cups chopped fresh pineapple
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Hot sauce ingredients

Cooking Directions:

1. Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender and process until smooth. My first batch was very smooth, but for the second I opted to keep it a bit chunkier.

2. Add to a pot and simmer over low heat for roughly 15 minutes.

3. Cool and strain, if desired.

4. Fill bottle or jar and store in refrigerator for later enjoyment.

homemade hot sauce in bottle

For this particular batch, I also tossed in half a bhut jolokia that I had sitting in the fridge at the time, but I wouldn’t say that it overly impacted the flavor or heat level. For the vinegar I only had apple cider vinegar on hand, instead of the white that I wanted to use. The end result is tasty and fiery, but turned out a bit too vinegary for my personal liking so I made a few adjustments with my next batch.

Aji Lemon Variant

For second batch, I decided to skip the habaneros and blend up 10 Aji Lemon pods — as well as a ghost and a scorpion pod which were on hand — that I had picked earlier in the day. I also went with three (3) cups of pineapple and ¾ of a cup of vinegar. This made for a fuller, chunkier sauce which leaned more toward my preferences.

Uses

While I preferred the Aji Lemon sauce overall, it has a distinct flavor that went better on tacos. The habanero sauce, however, is much more versatile and has been employed on burgers, eggs and just about everything else in between.